Formula E chairman Alejandro Agag says he doesn't understand Mercedes' decision to exit Formula E, speculating that the German manufacturer is perhaps looking to make a last stand in Formula 1 and combustion-engine racing in the coming years.
Mercedes' works EQ Formula E team will pull out of the all-electric series at the end of 2022, just ahead of the introduction of FE's Gen3 car for Season 9.
Mercedes will be seeking to off-load its FE assets to a private entrant at the end of next year and focus its works motorsport activities on F1, stating that the latter remained "the fastest laboratory for developing and proving sustainable and scalable future performance technologies."
Agag struggled to make sense of a decision that runs counter point in his view to the paradigm shift currently taking place in the automobile industry and to Mercedes' commercial move towards a full electric road car line by 2030.
"For me, I cannot understand their decision," Agag told Motorsport TV. " It simply puzzles me. They are selling electric cars more and more, they will stop selling combustion cars in the UK in 2030.
"To go back to combustion racing, maybe they're having a little bit 'the last dance'.
"They want to enjoy these last years burning fuel and then in 2030 they will maybe come back to electric racing. Probably before that. But I cannot understand the decision, but it's not a problem."
Mercedes will follow Audi and BMW out the FE door, but an optimistic Agag ensured that other manufacturers will be arriving into the series in the future while the Spaniard also underlined the value of the independent teams that are currently among its entrants.
"We have other manufacturers coming on board very soon," he said.
"We have fantastic independent teams. You need to make championships ready to go with independent teams only. Formula E is in great shape."